The Importance of Changing Transmission Fluids
Transmission fluids are a vital part of a vehicle’s system, yet they are often overlooked or misunderstood. While most car owners know about changing motor oil, a lesser percentage knows about the importance of regularly checking and changing their transmission fluids.
Transmission Fluid Types
There are several types of transmission fluid available on the market, with some brands being exclusive to specific automobile manufacturers. These include Dexron/Mercon, Highly Friction Modified (HFM) and Synthetic varieties. These fluids are formulated to best protect the internal surfaces of your transmission and can extend its life by reducing friction, oxidation and shearing.
One of the easiest ways to determine the status of your vehicle’s transmission fluid is by examining its color. As transmission fluid ages, it will tend to take on a darker color than normal. This can be a sign that it is time for a change. If your transmission fluid has started to deteriorate, scheduling an appointment for service is recommended.
If your transmission fluid is brown in color, this is a clear indicator that it has been exposed to excessively high temperatures and that it needs a change. This is especially true if your car has been driven under harsh conditions, such as frequent stop-and-go city driving or towing heavy loads and trailers.
As with any other fluid, your vehicle’s transmission fluid will eventually deteriorate from regular use and exposure to heat. As a result, it will begin to lose its viscosity and reduce its ability to lubricate and cool the transmission.
Typically, your vehicle’s transmission fluid needs to be changed every 30k-100k miles, depending on manufacturer recommendations. You should check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to learn more about how frequently it should be changed or contact your dealer for a more detailed service schedule.
Most vehicles with automatic transmissions use a brand of ATF that is specially formulated for the particular type of transmission used in your vehicle. This is different than the type of fluid used in older cars with manual transmissions, which is sometimes referred to as “manual transmission lube.”
When selecting a new ATF, choose a higher quality product than you may have originally had in your vehicle. This will ensure that your transmission fluid lasts longer in hard driving conditions and does not deteriorate as quickly.
Some of these higher quality products contain special additive packages that provide extra protection against oxidation and rust. These fluids will also be less likely to cause shift concerns in your transmission.
If you have any questions about which fluid is right for your vehicle, contact us today! Our trained professionals will be happy to help you choose the right transmission fluid for your car and perform a quick change.
There are also several different kinds of transmission fluids on the market, so it is important to understand your vehicle’s specific make and model before choosing a fluid. It is also crucial to remember that certain fluids may not be suitable for certain models of vehicles, so it is best to consult the manufacturer’s warranty information to determine the best choice for your specific vehicle.